School Transport Increase

School transport fees will shoot up by 79% this September under Government plans, imposing further painful hardship on families across Ireland, Fine Gael Limerick TD. Deputy Dan Neville said

“Fianna Fáil wants to impose a 79% hike on junior post-primary school transport costs this September, pushing the annual cost up by €132 to €300. Government measures have already imposed an extra €5,000 in tax hikes on the average family. These same families which are already experiencing financial difficulties will face the extra burden of higher school transport costs this September.

“The higher transport costs will hit rural families particularly badly, as they rely on bus services to get their children to and from school. Senior post-primary pupils will see a 28% rise in the cost of getting to and from school, while concessionary primary pupils will be hit by a massive 66% rise in costs. These hikes are unfair and unjustified.

“The Government is trying to justify these hikes as part of the process of phasing out three for two seating arrangements on buses. But that should be a matter for the Government to address, not parents.

“The last two emergency Budgets have already sent costs soaring for families, and the next Budget is likely to be the worst yet. School transport costs should now be frozen to take account of these difficult economic times.”